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A look at how Palantir, which keeps losing money, is trying to turn around its business ahead of a long-delayed IPO by cutting costs and hiring more salespeople (Wall Street Journal)
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Wall Street Journal:
A look at how Palantir, which keeps losing money, is trying to turn around its business ahead of a long-delayed IPO by cutting costs and hiring more salespeople  —  The Silicon Valley unicorn, which has been run like a scrappy startup, is under pressure to remake the business ahead of a possible IPO

In a letter shared by Sen. Ron Wyden, Facebook admits it ignored warnings from government-approved auditor in 2013 that its device partners may misuse user data (New York Times)
Tuesday November 13, 2018

New York Times:
In a letter shared by Sen. Ron Wyden, Facebook admits it ignored warnings from government-approved auditor in 2013 that its device partners may misuse user data  —  Facebook failed to closely monitor device makers after granting them access to the personal data of hundreds of millions of people …

Sources: New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon's second and third "headquarters"; the announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday (Wall Street Journal)
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Wall Street Journal:
Sources: New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon's second and third “headquarters”; the announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday  —  New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon.com Inc.'s second and third headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter.

Some Google services were temporarily unreachable for some users due to internet traffic being misdirected; Google believes cause was external, will investigate (Wall Street Journal)
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Wall Street Journal:
Some Google services were temporarily unreachable for some users due to internet traffic being misdirected; Google believes cause was external, will investigate  —  Internet giant says issue has been resolved and it will conduct an investigation  —  Google services were temporarily unreachable …

Intel says it will make its XMM 8160 5G modem available to manufacturers in H2 2019, six months ahead of schedule, with devices using it shipping in H1 2020 (Corinne Reichert/ZDNet)
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Corinne Reichert / ZDNet:
Intel says it will make its XMM 8160 5G modem available to manufacturers in H2 2019, six months ahead of schedule, with devices using it shipping in H1 2020  —  Intel said it has pushed the launch of a 5G modem forward by six months, with the product to become available to device manufacturers in the second half of next year.

GM says it will allow non-GM branded vehicles on its Maven peer-to-peer car sharing platform by mid-2019 (Kirsten Korosec/TechCrunch)
Monday November 12, 2018

Kirsten Korosec / TechCrunch:
GM says it will allow non-GM branded vehicles on its Maven peer-to-peer car sharing platform by mid-2019  —  GM's car-sharing subsidiary Maven is undergoing another expansion.  This time, it's not just to a new city.  —  Maven plans to open up its new peer-to-peer car rental service to allow owners to rent out non-GM vehicles.

Google open-sources AI algorithms that its researchers say can distinguish between voices with 92% accuracy (Kyle Wiggers/VentureBeat)
Monday November 12, 2018

Kyle Wiggers / VentureBeat:
Google open-sources AI algorithms that its researchers say can distinguish between voices with 92% accuracy  —  Diarization — the process of partitioning out a speech sample into distinctive, homogeneous segments according to who said what — doesn't come as easy to machines as it does to humans …

Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review: with fantastic build quality, great performance, comfortable keyboard, and good battery life, it bests the pricier Pixelbook (Williams Pelegrin/Android Authority)
Monday November 12, 2018

Williams Pelegrin / Android Authority:
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review: with fantastic build quality, great performance, comfortable keyboard, and good battery life, it bests the pricier Pixelbook  —  If you are looking for a Chromebook with high levels of performance, the Chromebook Spin 13 is it.

Firefox debuts Price Wise, an experimental price-tracking plug-in that lets users add products from Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Walmart, Home Depot to a watch list (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)
Monday November 12, 2018

Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:
Firefox debuts Price Wise, an experimental price-tracking plug-in that lets users add products from Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Walmart, Home Depot to a watch list  —  Mozilla is introducing a duo of new experimental Firefox features today as part of its Test Pilot program.

France's Macron releases an international pact on cyber warfare and security principles that over 50 nations have signed, but not the US, UK, Russia, or China (Joe Uchill/Axios)
Monday November 12, 2018

Joe Uchill / Axios:
France's Macron releases an international pact on cyber warfare and security principles that over 50 nations have signed, but not the US, UK, Russia, or China  —  French President Emmanuel Macron released a international agreement on cybersecurity principles Monday as part of the Paris Peace Forum.


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Report: NYC and Arlington, VA win the contest for Amazon’s split East Coast headquarters
Tuesday November 13, 2018

New York City and Arlington, Virginia have reportedly won Amazon’s lengthy and highly-publicized pageant for the locations of its new headquarters, beating out 238 other contestants. According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, an official announcement may come as early as Tuesday. The offices will be located in Long Island City, across […]

YouTube VR finally lands on the Oculus Go
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Today, Google’s YouTube VR app arrives on the $199 Oculus Go, bringing the largest library of VR content on the web to Facebook’s entry-level VR device. YouTube brings plenty of content in conventional and more immersive video types. It’s undoubtedly the biggest single hub of 360 content and native formats like VR180, though offering access […]

Tinder to roll out expanded set of gender options in India
Monday November 12, 2018

Tinder is preparing to roll out more gender options in its app in India. The company will announce shortly that users will be able to edit their profiles in order to choose a different option for their gender identity, instead of just “Man” or “Woman,” as well as toggle a setting that will display their […]

Analysts weighing in on $8B SAP-Qualtrics deal don’t see a game changer
Monday November 12, 2018

SAP CEO Bill McDermott was jacked up today about his company’s $8 billion Qualtrics acquisition over the weekend. You would expect no less for such a big deal. McDermott believes the data Qualtrics provides could bridge the gap between his company’s operational data and customer, data wherever that resides. The idea behind Qualtrics is to […]

These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels
Monday November 12, 2018

Amazon's Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they're new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There's even a privacy angle!

GM is going to allow Ford vehicles and other competitors on its Maven car-sharing platform
Monday November 12, 2018

GM’s car-sharing subsidiary Maven is undergoing another expansion. This time, it’s not just to a new city. Maven plans to open up its new peer-to-peer car rental service to allow owners to rent out non-GM vehicles. It is also setting its sights on bigger changes in the future, according to Julia Steyn, vice president of GM Urban […]

Airbnb ends forced arbitration days after Google, Facebook did the same
Monday November 12, 2018

Uber and Lyft put an end to forced arbitration earlier this year.

What’s next? The top media executives on the job market
Monday November 12, 2018

Keep an eye out for the next moves by these entrepreneurs and executives. A number of the biggest names in media left their jobs over the last year (or announced they will be leaving soon), including a handful of now-billionaires who have resources, ambition, and time on their hands to explore something new. We are […]

Comics legend Stan Lee has died
Monday November 12, 2018

Stan Lee, likely the best-known and most beloved comics writer of all time, has died at the age of 95. “Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement. “A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power […]

Okay, one final Form D note
Monday November 12, 2018

Some more comments from readers on the changing culture around startups filing their Form Ds with the SEC, and then a short update on SoftBank and a bunch more article reviews. We are experimenting with new content forms at TechCrunch. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the […]

MIT Tech

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China’s giant transmission grid could be the key to cutting climate emissions
Thursday November 08, 2018

But are the country’s next-generation power lines a clean-power play or a global power move?

Digital immortality: How your life’s data means a version of you could live forever
Thursday October 18, 2018

Your family and friends will be able to interact with a digital “you” that doles out advice—even when you’re gone.

We can now customize cancer treatments, tumor by tumor
Wednesday October 17, 2018

But can any company afford to manufacture one-off medical care?

Your next doctor’s appointment might be with an AI
Tuesday October 16, 2018

A new wave of chatbots are replacing physicians and providing frontline medical advice—but are they as good as the real thing?

Why we can’t quit the QWERTY keyboard
Saturday October 13, 2018

We’ve been using it to type for 144 years. Here’s why it works, and what it would take for us to give it up.

The US military wants to teach AI some basic common sense
Thursday October 11, 2018

Even the best AI programs still make stupid mistakes. So DARPA is launching a competition to remedy the field’s most glaring flaw.

Clearing out old cells might help the brain
Wednesday September 19, 2018

A popular anti-aging strategy keeps mice from getting senile.

Future robo-taxis could charge themselves and help balance the electric grid
Tuesday September 18, 2018

Wireless startup WiTricity wants cars to power up without human help and feed utilities energy during peak demand.

Artificial intelligence is often overhyped—and here’s why that’s dangerous
Thursday September 13, 2018

AI has huge potential to transform our lives, but the term itself is being abused in very worrying ways, says Zachary Lipton, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

How to hack an election—and what states should do to prevent fake votes
Thursday September 13, 2018

Two speakers at this year’s EmTech MIT conference addressed voting vulnerabilities.

Technology Lab | Ars Technica

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A 100,000-router botnet is feeding on a 5-year-old UPnP bug in Broadcom chips
Monday November 12, 2018

At least 116 different router models are infected by unusually well-written malware.

VA’s software so SNAFU’d that vets were made homeless waiting for benefits
Monday November 12, 2018

Ongoing IT train wreck is putting veterans on streets as agency promises fixes soon.

New year, same story: Cost of wind and solar fall below cost of coal and gas
Monday November 12, 2018

The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.

Russian officials: Nope, we can’t finish fixing the carrier Kuznetsov
Friday November 09, 2018

Dry-dock repairs may take a year or more; others aren't large enough for carrier.

Negotiating with ISPs: Don’t accept broadband price hikes without a fight
Friday November 09, 2018

Your bill rose $40 because the promotional rate expired—here's what to do next.

Get your code in RunCode, the online programming and pwning extravaganza
Thursday November 08, 2018

180 coding and hacking challenges in capture-the-flag-style event for code warriors.

California’s cap-and-trade dollars are building a hydrogen fuel cell boat
Thursday November 08, 2018

Boat expected to be completed by September 2019.

Police decrypt 258,000 messages after breaking pricey IronChat crypto app
Wednesday November 07, 2018

Weakness allowed cops to monitor encrypted messages for some time.

Tesla battery will power unusual community storage project in Western Australia
Wednesday November 07, 2018

Participants will virtually store their excess solar energy.

AT&T steps up copyright enforcement, kicks customers off network
Tuesday November 06, 2018

AT&T's action against alleged pirates comes after purchase of Time Warner.


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How to File an International Trademark When You’re Ready to Take Your Business Global
Monday November 12, 2018

Congratulations on eyeing the international market for your business growth. We are living in an age of globalization and more and more companies are recognizing the profitability of taking their products and service offerings globally at a relatively small incremental cost. It is an easy calculus to recognize that international consumers are able to be […]

The post How to File an International Trademark When You’re Ready to Take Your Business Global appeared first on ReadWrite.

How to Improve Cybersecurity in a Smart City
Monday November 12, 2018

The smart city began as a science fiction dream, but it’s very quickly becoming a reality. Municipal infrastructure, integrated with smart technology, will transform the aesthetics, utility, and sustainability of urban landscapes from here on out. To see a smart city in action, just look to Washington, D.C., which has embraced a top-down approach to […]

The post How to Improve Cybersecurity in a Smart City appeared first on ReadWrite.

3 Steps to Stop Unauthorized PHI Access by Terminated Team Members
Monday November 12, 2018

In February 2017, the Transformations Autism Treatment Center learned that one of its former behavioral analysts had breached its security. According to his indictment, Jeffrey Luke illegally accessed a TACT Google Drive account and stole protected health information from more than 300 current and former patients. TACT’s cyber breach is especially concerning because Luke had […]

The post 3 Steps to Stop Unauthorized PHI Access by Terminated Team Members appeared first on ReadWrite.

Manage License Requirements With E-Learning Compliance Application
Monday November 12, 2018

Managing inter-state educational requirements.

Gratefully, the awareness of state authorization of higher education institutions has increased. This means that the realization of the relationships between state authorization entities and professional licensing boards. State authorization is a formal determination by a higher education agency commonly a higher education board or commission. States allowing institutions to conduct certain activities within its […]

The post Manage License Requirements With E-Learning Compliance Application appeared first on ReadWrite.

Web Designing in the Age of IoT
Monday November 12, 2018

When British technologist Kevin Ashton coined the term “Internet of Things” in 1999, little did he knew that this term would become so popular in the coming years. Now, we are living in the age where IoT is already a reality. It has been estimated that by 2020 around 50 billion IoT-enabled devices will be […]

The post Web Designing in the Age of IoT appeared first on ReadWrite.

The Most Advanced AI in the World Is Worthless Without This One Key Element
Friday November 09, 2018

AI is here to stay, and there’s a simple reason why: proven ROI. Businesses in multiple industries are incorporating AI because the upside is tangible. According to an Accenture report, implementing AI solutions boosted profitability by an average of 38 percent across 16 industries. For the U.S. economy as a whole, this boost could lead to an additional […]

The post The Most Advanced AI in the World Is Worthless Without This One Key Element appeared first on ReadWrite.

Meet the AI-Chatbot Bandwagon Which Shows no Sign of Slowing Down
Friday November 09, 2018


Anybody walking on the street can identify how technology is changing at a whiplash-inducing pace. But do you know what the worst part is? Which of these technologies specifically are about to hit big. AI, machine learning, augmented reality, chatbots, have not just grabbed headlines  — but are successfully infiltrating every aspect of our world. […]

The post Meet the AI-Chatbot Bandwagon Which Shows no Sign of Slowing Down appeared first on ReadWrite.

How to Expand Your Business Through Multi-Channel Marketing
Friday November 09, 2018

Are a business owner that regularly asks yourself: “How can I expand my company to gain more clients, make more sales, and earn more revenue?” If so, you’re not alone. This is something business owners all over the world, in various industries and niches, struggle with on a daily basis. Maybe you’ve only tried marketing […]

The post How to Expand Your Business Through Multi-Channel Marketing appeared first on ReadWrite.

Is Cold Calling Becoming Obsolete?
Friday November 09, 2018

cold calling

Tech enthusiasts joke that if Alexander Graham Bell had known about the telemarketing and cold calling he was about to unleash on the world with the invention of the telephone, he never would have released it. Ten years ago, we declared, “Cold calling is dead.” Inc. has called it “a waste of time,” and sales […]

The post Is Cold Calling Becoming Obsolete? appeared first on ReadWrite.

How Will Industry 4.0 Impact Supply Chain Network?
Thursday November 08, 2018

As Industry 4.0 sweeps across the supply chain, it’s clear it will have a significant impact on everyone involved. Still, the question is how so? Industry 4.0 and Supply Chain As you’d expect from a name such as Industry 4.0, profound and revolutionary changes are coming to various industries, including manufacturing, development, and the modern […]

The post How Will Industry 4.0 Impact Supply Chain Network? appeared first on ReadWrite.


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XM Cyber raises $22 million to automate cybersecurity
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Cybersecurity startup XM Cyber has raised $22 million for its machine learning-driven penetration testing platform, HaXM.

Trigo Vision partners with Israel supermarket chain for 272 cashierless stores
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Tel Aviv startup Trigo inked a deal with Shufersal, Israel’s largest grocery chain, to deploy its cashierless tech in 272 stores.

Why Apple failed in India — and how it can recover
Tuesday November 13, 2018

Apple’s loss of the Indian market was entirely predictable -- and preventable.

The AI aspiration gap: How to hook AI into actual business results (VB Live)
Monday November 12, 2018

AI deployment right takes five steps: assessing your data strategy, aligning stakeholders, assessing tech feasibility, and a coordinated approach to ethics.

BlaBlaCar buys French bus service, raises $114 million
Monday November 12, 2018

BlaBlaCar has raised $114 million in venture capital and bought a bus service that was operated by France's national railway company SNCF.

Businesses will scale back on AI in 2019
Monday November 12, 2018

New research reveals a frank statistic that no business really wants to admit: In 2019, a full 10 percent of companies will bring human expertise back into the AI loop.

Google open-sources AI that can distinguish between voices with 92% accuracy
Monday November 12, 2018

Google researchers have open-sourced an AI system that can suss out speakers with state-of-the-art accuracy compared to previous methods.

Why Microsoft, Tencent, and Intel are growing cucumbers in autonomous greenhouses
Monday November 12, 2018

Teams led by employees at Microsoft, Intel, and Tencent are participating in a cucumber-growing competition to operate autonomous greenhouses to explore artificial intelligence applications in indoor farming.

Flaregames lays off 45, founder gives up CEO title
Monday November 12, 2018

Mobile game publisher Flaregames is laying off 45 people, and its founder Klaas Kersting is handing over the CEO duties to executive Todd English.

Google’s Gboard uses AI to help you pick the best GIF
Monday November 12, 2018

Gboard on Android can now use artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend contextually relevant GIFs, emojis, and stickers, Google announced.

Tech Trader Daily

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Twitter Is Struggling but Jack Dorsey’s Other Company Is Nearing an All-Time High
Monday September 10, 2018

Square's ascent has come thanks to a combination of an expansion into multiple financial services and a pivot into cryptocurrency.

Apple’s China Distraction Before Wednesday’s Big Event
Sunday September 09, 2018

President Trump has cast a formidable shadow in the days leading to Apple's big iPhone event on Wednesday. Over the weekend, he suggested in a tweet that Apple move its manufacturing plants to the U.S. to avoid tariffs in the simmering trade war between the U.S. and China.

Saying ‘Sorry’ Isn’t Enough for Social-Media Stocks
Thursday September 06, 2018

Executives from Facebook and Twitter struck a contrite tone in Senate testimony on Wednesday. That should serve them well in the long run, a Wall Street firm said in a note Thursday, but the short-term pain continues for both stocks.

4 Takeaways From Facebook and Twitter’s Make-Nice Congressional Testimony
Wednesday September 05, 2018

There was an apparent thaw in the normally tense narrative pitting Silicon Valley vs. The Beltway that has played out on Capitol Hill a few times the past year.

Facebook Is in an ‘Arms Race’ Against Fake News, Says Sheryl Sandberg
Wednesday September 05, 2018

Sandberg and Twitter chief Jack Dorsey were facing waves of questions about what their companies are doing to avoid a repeat of 2016.

Apple’s Stock Is Still All About the iPhone, Analyst Says
Tuesday September 04, 2018

As Apple preps for its biggest day of the year next week, at least one Wall Street firm has raised its price target on the company's stock in anticipation of the launch of three new iPhones.

Western Digital, Seagate Slump on Gloomy Evercore Forecast
Tuesday September 04, 2018

Shares of Western Digital (WDC) and Seagate Technology (STX) are being battered Tuesday after a report from Evercore ISI warned of declining profit margins for both makers of hard drives and flash memory storage devices.

Congress Sharpens Its Knives for Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg
Tuesday September 04, 2018

Things could get especially tough for Twitter's Dorsey as he deals with a red-meat issue for Republicans: the notion that Twitter is biased against conservatives.

Amazon Just Joined Apple in the $1 Trillion Club…but Couldn’t Stay There
Tuesday September 04, 2018

And if a recent forecast is correct, it could hit $1.2 trillion before long.

Add Birmingham to Tech’s Growing List of Hubs
Saturday September 01, 2018

Much as Silicon Valley sees itself as the epicenter of high-tech, plenty of technology hubs dot the United States, each with a distinct vertical market that feeds the industry. Charleston, S.C. (aka “Silicon Harbor”), Phoenix (“Silicon Desert”), and a wide swath of the Midwest (“Silicon Prarie”) are testaments to regions that have produced significant companies while largely avoiding the suffocating cost-of-living, traffic snarls, and hyper-competitiveness that dog Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, and Austin tech workers.

Free Tech 4 Teachers

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News Aggregators: Professional Development for the Busy Teacher
Tuesday November 13, 2018

This week I am welcoming some guest bloggers. This one is from Rebecca Meeder.

Professional development helps expose teachers to new trends in their field and aids them in growing in their profession. However, with the tremendous amount of work teachers already have, is regularly attending professional development sessions even feasible? Online news aggregators can help ease the problem of teachers needing growth in their profession, but having only a limited amount of time to spend on professional development.

What is a news aggregator?
Imagine having your newspaper or magazines delivered to you, but only the articles you want to read show up in your mailbox. Online news aggregators work in a similar way. News aggregators, such as Feedly or News360, are free online sites or apps anyone can sign up for. They organize all the content that interests you into one single webpage for you to browse through. Often these sites contain articles on the latest trends and practices in the subject area or field that you are interested in.

For example, an English teacher can sign up with Feedly using her Google account or Facebook login. She can then either tell Feedly what content she is interested in, such as blog posts from 9th grade English teachers, or what websites she wants to follow, such as Free Technology for Teachers. After that, every time the teacher visits Feedly, the site will display the latest content from these sites that she shared with it.

Think of news aggregators as short bursts of mini-professional development opportunities. Teachers can browse the aggregators at leisure during lunch or right before they leave the classroom to head to their after school meeting, and have the latest news and findings about their specific subject area or grade level. It is as if they attended a professional development seminar, but within a few short minutes.

A few sites I would recommend following for K-12 educators using news aggregators are:
These are great sites to start with, especially if you are new at using news aggregators. They post new content regularly and enable you to stay on top of the latest trends and practices in K-12 education.

How I Use a News Aggregator
About three years ago, I wrote a post on my blog on how I use Feedly to help me stay “in the know” regarding Educational Technology. While working at a university in the College of Education, I was only able to spend a limited amount of time in the K-12 classroom since I had to focus on teaching Educational Technology classes and managing the college’s online Grow-Your-Own program. Therefore, to stay up-to-date on trends and practices within the field of Educational Technology, I used Feedly every day to catch up on articles featuring strategies and tools teachers were currently using in the classroom. My interests at the time were blogs and news sites that featured topics on technology used in the classroom, but also news sites that featured articles on higher education trends.

I also shared with a few of my colleagues my strategy of using news aggregators as a form of professional development. A few of them were in fields other than education. Yet, they also started using news aggregators to read articles within their own field. What is great about news aggregators is the ability to narrow down and specify which topics you are interested in, so that meaningful content appears in your news feed.

Currently, I work at the Bellevue School District in a more administrative capacity. Even though, I am in a K-12 environment, I still have little interaction with teachers or students in the classroom. However, I use a news aggregator to provide myself with an overall view of what technology teachers are currently using in the classroom and what innovative practices are growing in popularity regarding their use. Some of the sites I regularly follow are The Principal of Change, and a blog by Catlin Tucker, a Honors English Teacher in Sonoma County.

News Aggregators as a Professional Development Solution for Overworked Teachers
I am hoping that educators in the K-12 field take the time to use news aggregators and continue with their professional development, even if it is not in an official capacity. Teachers now more than ever are expected to do more work than they are capable. Instead of pushing more work, such as several face-to-face professional development sessions, onto teachers, we could streamline their work and utilize technology, such as using news aggregators. News aggregators will not completely replace face-to-face professional development sessions, but I believe utilizing tools such as news aggregators can help with keeping our teachers in the field and growing at the same time.

Dr. Rebecca Meeder has worked at various companies and organizations including the University of Hawaii, Nintendo, Ellucian, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and Northwest University. She is currently an Instructional Technology Designer at the Bellevue School District. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @drmeeder.

Creating a Digital Culture
Monday November 12, 2018

This week I am welcoming some guest bloggers. This one is from Clint Winter and Chuck Bell.

As a School Superintendent and as a District Technology Coordinator we both are often asked “How and why did your district decide to go 1:1?.” Our school district has been 1:1 in some form or fashion for a number of years. Initially funded through a grant through the University of Georgia we were able to give Windows devices to students in the 11th and 12th grade. As the grant ended and expenses began to mount and as Google established a strong presence in K-12 education it became clear that we needed to make a commitment to Google Chromebooks. We were able to fund our Chromebook initiative through money collected from a special local option sales tax. Also, it helps us meet the state of Georgia’s mandate for 100% online state required testing.

When we made the commitment to Chromebooks we also are making a commitment to collaboration and creation. We wanted to connect our students and teachers with both curriculum and new opportunities. Actually, that is a big reason we decided to get Chromebooks! Our Chromebooks booted up faster, we have unlimited storage, and we are able to collaborate in real time all the time. Students are also able to access their documents offline. Keeping with the theme of collaboration and creation We wanted to alleviate fears by letting teachers know that from a District prospective. We knew they will have both success and failures with the new devices in their classroom. We also wanted to remove barriers by offering tools such from Texthelp and GoGuardian. Also, we wanted to make sure that we were using best practices and have worked with AmplifedIT to maximize our Google Admin Console.

For Professional Development our school district embraces the SAMR model. It is important that our students Chromebooks are being used intentionally. We offer personalized paths for our teachers to learn and lead about using technology for more than substitution. Some of our teachers go through Google Certification, others attend Edcamps, we are promoting building our own Personalized Learning Networks.. Our administrators are offering teachers to choose professional learning in the building and also encouraging their teachers to screencast new things that they have learned. We tweet the good things we are doing in our classroom and use the hashtag #Bluewayondisplay to expand our audience and learn from educators across our region, nation, and world. We are continuing to build a culture that supports Every student Every Day and know that this cannot be accomplished without the support of our students, community, teachers, technology staff, and administrators. Building a dynamic culture that encourages risk taking and embracing new styles of learning is truly a team effort.

Chuck Bell is the Superintendent of the Elbert County School District. You can follow Chuck on twitter @Chuck_Bell_

Clint Winter is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Elbert County School District. You can follow him on Twitter @ClintWinter. Clint is the author of TheFridayTechTip which is updated every Friday during the school year. You can listen to the Edtechrewind podcast he co-hosts with Dr. Lee Green.

Edji - A Great Tool for Literacy and Critical Thinking
Monday November 12, 2018

This week I am welcoming some guest bloggers. This one is from Eric Hills.

As a tech coach, I love spending time trying to find tools that are easy to use, can enhance student learning, and are engaging for students. Edji checks all three of those boxes for me. I’ve learned about so many amazing tools and strategies from Richard Byrne and I want to return the favor to him and his readers by sharing a little about this amazing tool. And because Edji was created in my home state of Minnesota, I take a little extra pride in sharing my love for it. I hope after reading this post, you will give Edji a try with your students!

What is it?
Edji is a unique, collaborative annotation tool that works on any device. Students and teachers can highlight portions of text and leave either emoji comments or text comments. They can also place a hotspot on a picture and leave a comment. It sounds simple, but there are endless ways it can be used.

One key feature of Edji is called “Heat Vision.” Teachers can toggle Heat Vision on or off. When you turn Heat Vision on, all highlights and comments will appear for all students to see. Text that has been highlighted by students will appear in colors ranging from yellow to dark red depending on how many students highlighted that area. Most teachers will likely leave the Heat Vision feature off until students have had time to highlight and comment. Once they are done, you can turn on Heat Vision to show common highlights and comments.

Why use it?
Edji can be used in many ways and it is incredibly easy to get started. If you have an article, diagram, chart, image, or text of any kind, you can have an interactive lesson ready in minutes. And by giving students a place to make their own highlights and comments, you are allowing every voice in the classroom to be heard. Using Edji will enhance the face-to-face discussions that your students have in class.

Here are just a few ways you could use Edji in your class:

  • Identify the main idea and supporting details in an article using highlights. Click on Heat Vision so students see whether they highlighted the correct portion of the text.
  • Examine a historical artifact or political cartoon image and have students make comments on their observations.
  • Read a primary source document in social studies and have students highlight key vocabulary that they don’t know. Have students share the task of finding synonyms to help decipher the text.
  • Create an emoji chart with your students that represents what you are looking for in the text. For example, cause and effect. Students could use a raindrop to represent cause and an umbrella to represent effect. Having students identify the best emojis to use activates their critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

How do I get started?
Creating a reading for students to complete is very easy. You can copy and paste text from other sources such as Newsela, CommitLit, The Tween Tribune, Project Gutenberg, or any other preferred source of texts. You can also upload PDFs or images. To set up your first reading, check out the video below.

Once you have created a reading, students access the reading by entering a code at edji.it. They can sign in as a guest or create an account (Google sign-in available). You can also create reading groups, which lets you duplicate a reading and use a unique code for each small reading group. This is especially helpful if you use the same text for 30 (or 150) students as it might be difficult to navigate the comments and highlights.

Disclosure: I have received stickers and magnets from Edji. I also received two Edji Hero licenses for teachers at my school to pilot its use.

Biography: Eric Hills is a Digital Learning Coach from Shakopee Public Schools in Minnesota. You can find his blog posts and those of his amazing colleagues at techtools.shakopee.k12.mn.us and you can connect with him on Twitter @MrEricHills.

My Party PBL - Technology and Project Based Learning
Monday November 12, 2018

This week I am welcoming some guest bloggers. This one is from Debbie Carona.

The PBL, My Party Election, originally written by Mike Kaechele, became a part of the U.S. History curriculum for 8th graders at St. John’s Episcopal School Dallas during the Presidential Election of 2016. Students worked in groups with politically like-minded teammates to create new and unique political third parties by developing a platform, creating a logo, writing a slogan and building a website. At the time, St. John’s was the only middle school to join this nationwide competition where the party of the winning presidential candidate submitted its website which is judged by other students across the United States. Over the past two years, as most good PBLs tend to do,” My Party Election” morphed into simply “My Party” with a stronger focus on the actual third parties formed in the process rather than the election of an individual from one of the third parties as president.

The current My Party PBL is now a fundraising event where each party conducts extensive research on various aspects of the role of third parties in American politics as well as four assigned current issues that are to be built into the planks of the platform. The required issues include healthcare, immigration, gun control, and energy. Each party member plays an important role in creating the party and planning the event. Students take on the roles of Director of Fundraising, Media Coordinator, Branding Coordinator, Webmaster and Steering Committee Chairperson.

Using Word documents shared on One Drive, students work simultaneously on the creation of their platforms. The Fundraising Director spends time editing and researching the planks of the platform while the Branding Coordinator works on designing the logo to match the party’s ideology. Many of the logos are developed digitally on iPads using apps such as Canva or Notability. Each logo is revised and reimaged until it is satisfactory enough to be sent on to the Webmaster who uploads it on the Home Page of the website. The Branding Coordinator has the option to create a trifold brochure using PowerPoint to hand out to potential donors at the final presentation. To read about the logo process of one student Branding Coordinator, click here.

While the Branding Coordinator is working through iterations for the logo, the Media Coordinator creates the storyboard and develops ideas for shooting the political party commercial. Students take advantage of the school’s green screen using the app Do Ink. Final edits and tweaks are made using iMovie. Click here to see one of the most successful commercials this year that was created using the iStopMotion app with colorful caramal-flavored M&Ms. Each group submits the completed advertisement to Webmasters for display on the party’s website.

Webmasters use Wix.com to develop the party websites. Each website is required to have color and font choices that fit the branding of the party. Student webmasters work diligently to develop a template for showcasing the work of the other students. Each site contains pictures and bios of party members, the platform, commercial, logo, moto and bibliography for each party.

For the final presentation, each party creates a PowerPoint that explains the platform and showcases the work of the party. A panel of entrepreneurs, educators and parents are invited to view the presentation as “donors”. Each donor is given a hypothetical $10,000 and can split their contributions between the three parties in any amounts they choose. At the final Fundraising Event, students handout their brochures and give-away items. Students create items such as magnetic party badges and coasters using their logos and party names using the GlowForge, a laser engraver.

The My Party PBL allows students to work with peers in an open collaborative environment. They have the opportunity to practice strategies learned in lessons on civil discourse as they discuss current event issues. They have an opportunity to use their personal strengths and talents to create their political parties and develop the poise and self-assurance to present to an authentic audience.

LeAnne Wyatt is the 8th grade US History and the 8th grade Speech teacher at St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, Texas. She also serves as the Grade Level Leader and as the Service Learning Coordinator. For several years she has collaborated with Debbie Carona on numerous project based learning units. Ms. Carona is the Technology Integration Specialist and PBL Coach at St. John’s. To learn about more PBL, go to Ms. Carona’s blog or check out her Twitter feed @DebbieCarona.

Music, Feedback, and Flowcharts - The Week in Review
Sunday November 11, 2018

Good evening from Nebraska where I'm visiting my good friends Kris and Beth Still. Some of you may remember that Beth was the person who organized the NECC Newbie Project back in 2009 to get me to the NECC (now called ISTE) conference. We were relative strangers before then but good friends since then. Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you're having fun too.

These were the week's most popular posts:
1. Build a Body - An Interactive Biology Lesson
2. Five Places to Find Free Music and Sounds for Multimedia Projects
3. Is Your Feedback Really Effective? - This Google Docs Add-on Will Tell You
4. Parts of Speech Quest
5. A Good Tool for Writing Reflections on Stories
6. Visme - Great Tools for Making Flowcharts and Mind Maps
7. MyBib is Back

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Send an email to richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
TypingClub offers more than 600 typing lessons for kids. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Book Creator is a great tool for creating multimedia books.
Kami is a great tool for annotating and collaborating on PDFs. 
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Seterra offers a huge selection of geography games for students. 

Is Your Feedback Really Effective? - This Google Docs Add-on Will Tell You
Saturday November 10, 2018

Anyone who has ever spent a Sunday afternoon grading essay after essay has at some point wondered, “did anyone listen when I explained homophones?” This usually happened to me around the 27th essay of the day. It’s at about that point that it’s a fair question to ask, “is my feedback effective?” That’s the question that the folks at JoeZoo are trying to help teachers answer.

JoeZoo is a free Google Docs Add-on that teachers can use to add voice and text comments to a students’ paper. But that alone is not what makes it great. What makes JoeZoo stand out from the crowd is the built-in student engagement tracking capability. JoeZoo will let you see which text comments your students read, which voice comments they listened to, and how long they engaged with those comments! Check out the animated GIF below to see how you can track your students’ engagement with the comments that you add to their Google Docs.

As you probably gleaned from the previous paragraph, you can use JoeZoo to add voice comments to your students’ Google Docs. You can mix voice comments with text comments through a document. And to help you save time, JoeZoo has a comment bank that comes pre-loaded with 93 of the most commonly used comments created by teachers. You can edit those pre-loaded comments or use them as written. If you need something other than one of the 93 pre-loaded comments, you can create your own canned comments to add to your students’ documents.

When it is time for students to look at the feedback you have given to them, JoeZoo has a couple of helpful features not found in other free commenting systems. First, all comments are color coded according to comment type. That can make it easier for students to quickly identify all comments related to a particular skill. Second, there is an accessibility feature not found in other commenting systems. That feature is text-to-speech. Not only can students listen to voice comments that you have added to their documents, they can have any of your written comments read aloud too.

So rather than wondering if your students are engaging with the feedback you give them in Google Docs, use JoeZoo and know for sure if they are engaging with your feedback. I can’t promise that using JoeZoo will make grading one hundred essays more fun, but using it will make your feedback process more efficient. Try it today, it’s free!

Disclosure: JoeZoo is an advertiser on this blog. 

Add Adobe Spark Creations Into Book Creator eBooks
Friday November 09, 2018

Adobe Spark and Book Creator are two of my favorite multimedia production tools. And now you can combine the two! Earlier this week Book Creator announced that you can now embed videos made with Adobe Spark into the pages of Book Creator ebooks. But it's not just Adobe Spark videos that you can embed into your Book Creator pages. You can include graphics and even webpages made with Adobe Spark into the pages of Book Creator ebooks.

In the following video I provide a complete overview of how to create an ebook on Book Creator.

And watch the following video for an overview of how to create things on Adobe Spark.

Applications for Education
For years I have been saying that Book Creator is a good tool for students to use to create digital showcases of their best writing, drawings, pictures, and videos. And since its launch a few years ago I have loved using Adobe Spark to make videos. The integration of the two services provides a great opportunity for students to create videos then include them as part of a larger work that they publish through Book Creator.

The Origins of Ingredients in Thanksgiving Meals
Friday November 09, 2018

Last week I shared three Thanksgiving-themed projects that you can do this month. Of course, I have many more Thanksgiving resources bookmarked to share with you. One of those is an interesting video from It's Okay to be Smart titled The Surprising Origins of Thanksgiving Foods. Through the video students can learn how the most common, traditional Thanksgiving foods originated and evolved to what they are today. This lesson includes an explanation of how archaeologists and scientists determined that turkeys were one of the first animals to be domesticated in North America. We also learn why the turkeys we find in the grocery store today are so much bigger than those of just a few generations ago.

Try using EDpuzzle to add questions into the timeline of this video. Or use EDpuzzle to simply add some additional notes for your students to read before, during, or after watching the video. My videos embedded below will show you how to use EDpuzzle.

A Handful of Resources for Learning About Veterans Day
Friday November 09, 2018

This Sunday is Veterans Day (many places will observe it on Monday). The following resources can help students understand the origins and meaning of Veterans Day including how it is different from Memorial Day.

Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day. The video explains the origins of the holiday and why its date of celebration has twice shifted in the United States. The end of the video includes an explanation of the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. PBS News Hour has a basic lesson plan about Veterans Day. That lesson plan includes showing them Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day

NBC News offers the following short audio slideshow about the history and meaning of Veterans Day.

Build a Body - An Interactive Biology Lesson
Friday November 09, 2018

Spend a few minutes using Build a Body and it is easy to understand why it was recognized by the National Science Foundation. In Sponge Lab Biology's Build a Body students construct a human body system-by-system. To build a body students drag and drop into place the organs and bones of a human body. Each organ and bone is accompanied by a description of the purpose of that bone or organ. The systems that students can build in the Build a Body activity are the skeletal, digestive, respiratory, nervous, excretory, and circulatory systems.

Build a Body has a case study menu in which students can read about diseases, disorders, and and other concerns that affect the human body. In each case study students are given a short description of the concern followed by a question that they should be able to answer after completing the Build a Body activity.

Applications for Education
Build a Body was designed with high school students in mind. Build a Body could be an excellent resource to pair with Biodigital Human or Healthline's Body Maps. Have students use the Body Maps and Biodigital Human to study the construction of the human body then use Build a Body to test their knowledge.

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Windows 10 rollout snafu: Day 37
Monday November 12, 2018

Thirty-seven days after Microsoft withdrew the Windows 10 October 2018 Update from all distribution, the Redmond, Wash. company has yet to restart delivery.

The delay has no precedent in Windows 10 and has gone on significantly longer than instances in prior editions when updates, most of them security fixes, had to be pulled and then later re-released.

Microsoft debuted the fall feature upgrade, also known as 1809 in the firm's yymm format, on Oct. 2. Four days later - Oct. 6 - it retracted the release by yanking it from the Windows Update service and manual download sites, and warning users who had grabbed it to toss the disk image in the trash. The reason: Some users - Microsoft said 1/100th of 1% - reported that the upgrade deleted all files in several folders, including the important Documents and Photos directories.

To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: HP design innovation on PCs and printers will spread to homes and offices
Monday November 12, 2018

[Disclosure: HP is a client of the author.]

My first portable PC (you’d never call it a laptop), was made by Panasonic. It cost something like $7K in today’s dollars (allowing for inflation), weighed 35 pounds and included a thermal printer.  I also work from home so unlike my office-oriented peers, part of what I think about when I equip or update my home office is the printer — even though it’s no longer integrated with my laptop (thankfully). 

For much of my career, laptop design has largely been driven by one of two factors. Corporate buyers who had no taste (and resulted in a long period of time when hardware design could best be described as butt-ugly), or Apple, who tended to put form over function resulting in pretty but often unreliable or fragile products. (My first Apple laptop fell off a chair onto carpet and broke both hinges on its screen, something I’d never seen happen before or since.) 

To read this article in full, please click here

HTC Vive unveils standalone VR headset, collaboration app for the enterprise
Monday November 12, 2018

HTC Vive has launched a handful of enterprise-focused products, with a new standalone “mobile” VR headset, developer tools and a collaboration app that promises to connect remote employees.

The Taiwanese company last week announced that the Vive Focus head-mounted display will now ship in the U.S., following a launch in China earlier this year.

The Vive Focus is a standalone headset that functions without a PC connection, unlike the company's tethered Vive Pro device. It features similar specs to the “professional-grade” Vive Pro, with 2880-x-1600-pixel resolution. Unlike other mobile VR headsets, the Vive Focus does not require a smartphone be inserted; it relies on embedded hardware – powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chip – supports a 110-degree field of view and lasts up to three hours on a single charge.

To read this article in full, please click here

Time to block Windows Automatic Update — with a new twist for Win10 Pro
Monday November 12, 2018

Rumors swirling all over the blogosphere have Microsoft re-releasing the ill-fated Win10 version 1809 on Patch Tuesday this month. Personally, given the dearth of worthwhile features in 1809 and the painful first release last month, I’d rather that they just wait a week or a month or six, until it’s fully baked, but that probably won’t happen.

Better still, I wish they’d wait a year or two, roll in some new features worthy of a full reinstall, and then unleash something new and worthwhile. If wishes were horses ...

To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: At CES 2019, 5G wireless plays an increasing role
Monday November 12, 2018

CES 2019 is coming to Las Vegas in early January and every year around this time, my email goes nuts. As a high-profile wireless analyst, I typically get more email every day than I have time to read, from a wide variety of competitors who want me to learn about them, write about them and talk about them. This time of year, it doubles. So, what’s coming in 2019?

As I have to explain to each company who wants to get on my radar, it’s not that easy. Over the last thirty years I have built a strong reputation as an independent wireless industry analyst, so I must take my time and learn about them before I consider talking or writing about them.

Wireless plays an increasingly larger role at the Consumer Electronics Show

I’ve been attending the Consumer Electronics show for the last several decades and have watched it change dramatically and grow over time. When I attend, I meet with countless company executives either at their booth or in their hotel rooms where they give me a demonstration and briefing.

To read this article in full, please click here

Microsoft's strategy: Force enterprises to buy every traditional Office upgrade
Monday November 12, 2018

Microsoft has figured out how to stymie enterprises that cut costs by licensing Office the old-fashioned way, a pair of researchers said.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Maybe he started out in APL and just never got over it?
Monday November 12, 2018

This pilot fish starts his mainframe programming career at a state agency, but soon moves on to a job at a company in the record industry -- which turns out to be much more, um, challenging.

"The environment is totally different," fish says. "I'm responsible for supporting several high-profile production and revenue applications.

"All is well until there's a coding update request, and my manager wants to review the code before it's even tested, much less implemented.

"I have the compiled output ready to review with my manager, but he takes it away to review alone so he's not interrupted.

"Other members of my group are laughing when I return to my desk, but they don't explain why.

To read this article in full, please click here

Tech event calendar 2018-19: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos
Friday November 09, 2018

Tech Events

To read this article in full, please click here

Great R packages for data import, wrangling and visualization
Friday November 09, 2018

One of the great things about R is the thousands of packages users have written to solve specific problems in various disciplines -- analyzing everything from weather or financial data to the human genome -- not to mention analyzing computer security-breach data.

Some tasks are common to almost all users, though, regardless of subject area: data import, data wrangling and data visualization. The table below show my favorite go-to packages for one of these three tasks (plus a few miscellaneous ones tossed in). The package names in the table are clickable if you want more information. To find out more about a package once you've installed it, type help(package = "packagename") in your R console (of course substituting the actual package name ).

To read this article in full, please click here

How to use your iPad Pro to replace your laptop (Part 4)
Friday November 09, 2018

I’m trying to show how Apple’s iPad Pro sets new boundaries for mobile computing and offers a real alternative to a laptop for many of us.

Today we’re taking a look at the Files app and how to use it effectively with an iPad.

Episode guide:

  1. Part OneiPad Equipment
  2. Part TwoKeyboard, Typing, Shortcuts, and Dictation tips
  3. Part ThreeHow to multitask on iPad Pro
  4. Part Four (this episode): How to use Apple’s Files app and tags

What is Files?

Files is a cloud-based data storage system that is compatible with Macs, iPhones, and iPads and works to make sure all your information is accessible to you when you are logged in with your Apple ID.

To read this article in full, please click here